Finishing Touches That Will Make Your Home Stand Out

There are many things you can do that will make your home stand out. You can paint your front door, landscape your property, and update your mailbox. Each of these things is small, but they will add to your home’s curb appeal and set your home apart from the rest.

Paint Your Front Door

You can make your front door stand out by painting it a different color than the rest of your home. Many houses have side entrances or long front facades, making visitors guess where they are to enter. Give them a strong hint by painting your door in a color that stands out but coordinates with the rest of your house’s color scheme. Doors painted in a different color from the house’s trim are welcoming and make for a much more visually interesting front yard.

Landscape Your Property

Landscaping your property can help you put those finishing touches on your home that set it apart from the rest. Diseased trees should be removed by a specialist after they determine it’s the only solution. A healthy lawn, bright flowers, and lush greenery nourish us from the inside, providing oxygen as well as reducing stress and improving our quality of life. When your house is on the market, all the attention you have put into your landscaping reaps additional benefits. It’ll bring more interested buyers and a better asking price. Even if you’re not selling the house, it’ll help your home to stand out and your neighbors will be able to admire your beautiful home.

Update your Mailbox

Swap out a dated mailbox with something more stylish. It’s a super easy project and can make an understated but noticeable difference in your home’s curb appeal. Depending on the type of mailbox that you need, you can add a lot to your home and make it stand out. A mailbox is often the first thing that people see and if it’s unique and personalized, then it’ll help your home to stand out.

Adding finishing touches that will make your home stand out is an important part of creating curb appeal. You can paint your front door, landscape your property, and update your mailbox. Each of these simple things will help you to get your home to stand out and you’ll feel proud of the work you’ve accomplished. If you ever choose to sell your home, your increased curb appeal will make the process go quickly.

We can help make your home look its best with a fresh paint job! Contact us today to get a free estimate!

What You Need to Prepare for When Buying Your First House

There are common misconceptions that buying a house is just like simple transactions at the grocery store, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. It is a massive purchase that you should ponder on and research until you know you can pay for it. The housing market may feel daunting, but if you make educated steps you will be prepared.

A Long Process

First, buying a house can take a long time. Not only do you need to investigate the houses in your desired city, but you also must meet with a realtor, coordinate a deal with the sellers, and provide an extensive amount of paperwork to the government before you receive the keys.

The long process may be annoying, but it can be helpful. Instead of rushing into a life-altering payment, it forces you to think about the benefits and problems that each house has. Don’t put yourself in a position where you have to move quickly into a new house, or you may have buyer’s remorse.

 Hidden Costs

You may think you are financially prepared to take on a home loan, but there are likely hidden costs you need to pay that you aren’t thinking about. You will have to pay property tax, utilities, HOA in some cases, security, and closing costs. It can end up being more than you bargained for.

When house hunting, you should add breathing room to your budget so you can account for these extra expenses. This will prevent you from taking a loan you cannot commit to. You can then plan for these costs and choose a home that is more affordable later.

Use All Your Senses

When you are buying a home, the realtor and sellers will stage the house to look as good as it can. While you may think the layout looks perfect, you should be wary of “falling in love” too quickly. This can keep your head clear and thoughtful when making a purchase.

Use all your senses (except taste) when you walk into a home you are interested in. Sight is the one everyone uses, but be on the lookout for weird smells, sounds in the walls, or floors that feel strange. These can prevent you from buying a house with a severe integrity problem with a fresh coat of paint.

As you are perusing the housing market, keep these things in mind. You will optimize your search for the home you want, and prevent an impossible mortgage payment from ruining your life.

Read this next: How to Avoid the Pitfalls of DIY Home Improvement

How to Increase the Return on Investment on a Fixer-Upper

If you’re good at fixing things, flipping houses can be a great way to make a living. However, not everything in a fixer-upper should be fixed. Neither is every fixer-upper a good project to take on. To make the most out of your invested time and money on flipping houses, you need to do the following.

Make the Right Improvements

When you start putting together your game plan, don’t include everything that is wrong with the house. Some improvements will cost you more money than you will make in return. Your priority is to make the home safe and livable. If these aren’t accomplished, then you aren’t going to be able to sell the house. Your second priority should be to focus on aesthetics and functionality. These are going to give you the best return on investments. Some of the best rooms to improve are the kitchen and bathroom. Making sure that these two rooms are well designed with plenty of space can go a long way towards upping your asking price for the home.

Consider Location

Before you even start thinking about which improvements you should perform, you need to decide if the house is in the right place. Surrounding home values are a big indication of where your home can be after renovations. If there isn’t a large enough difference between what you need to pay for the fixer-upper and what the surrounding homes are worth, then it’s going to be a bad investment. Your ideal situation is to find a low-priced fixer-upper that is the eyesore in an otherwise beautiful neighborhood with an expensive home. Since you won’t always be able to find this, you’ll have to practice making rough estimates of improvement costs when you are searching for a home to flip.

Rent While You Can

If you have a home that is going to take a couple of months to put together, you can make a return on your investment through short-term renting. Focus your efforts on completing a portion of the house like the main floor, basement, or mother-in-law apartment that can function as a rental on its own. Rent this out with a short-term lease while you finish the rest of the home. Once you are done, you can stop renting the home and sell it.

When you are working on a fixer-upper, you may be tempted to do everything yourself so that you can save money. Just remember that time is also a valuable asset. In some cases, it may be better to hire an expert to take care of a tricky job. Just make sure that you have each step carefully planned out and that you work as quickly as possible.

Read this next: Simple Home Fixes You Didn’t Know You Needed

3 Options to Consider for Your Home if You Have Money to Spend

Spending money to make your home more beautiful and fun can be an exciting idea. Adding luxury and fun can help you make your home somewhere that you love to be and to show off to your friends and family. There are tons of things you can do to improve any home, but if you have money to spend, here are a few of the best home improvement options to consider.

An Outdoor Kitchen

If you’re big on entertaining, an outdoor kitchen can take your parties to the next level. From summer barbecues to family birthday parties on good weather days throughout the year, an outdoor kitchen will keep your celebrations feeling special. Your outdoor kitchen can be as extensive or simple as you’d like, but it is a good idea to start with some basics like a bar space, a big sink, and storage for kitchen must-haves. Adding a stove and oven can take it to a new level and can be great for keeping your house cool when you need to bake on hot days.

A Luxury Bathroom

Having a spa experience in your home is as easy as upgrading your bathroom to a more luxurious place. Adding in a walk-in shower with a separate bath can help your bathroom space to feel indulgent. Frosted glass shower doors can be an appealing addition that hides water and soap stains. Cool tile accents can help your bathroom look unique and make the whole space feel like somewhere you can relax. Bringing luxury to your bathroom space is a great way to spend money on your home that will pay off in your enjoyment for years to come.

A High-Class Theater Space

Once you have kitchen and bathroom needs covered, adding in a theater space can make your home somewhere you love to be. The best theater spaces have a big screen tv or projector, comfortable seating, and a good capacity for darkening. Remote-controlled blackout blinds can add a layer of luxury to your theater and help movie watching be even more enjoyable. Seats with heating and massage settings can help to embrace a classy and luxurious home theater that you’ll love to use to entertain your guests.

Upgrading your house with your extra money is one of the best things you can do to improve your home and your life. Take the time to design a home upgrade that you love so you can start enjoying it now!

Read this next: Simple Home Fixes You Didn’t Know You Needed

Home Issues That Get Worse Over Time without Action

Many home issues can get worse over time if you don’t take any action. Letting them get worse will wind up costing you time and money that you can’t afford. You should keep an eye out for water leaks, pest infestations, and driveway cracks.

Water Leaks

Water can cause a lot of damage to your home and if you don’t rectify the situation there are worse things that could develop, including mold, rot, etc. Leaks from pipes, plumbing fixtures, and fittings are a significant source of water waste for some households, and fixing them can help save you money. If you don’t end up fixing a leak, it could become worse and flood your house. That can be more costly than just fixing the leak early on. If you are aware of the leaks, then you’ll need to get them fixed so they don’t get worse over time.

Pest Infestations

Pest infestations can ruin your home if you don’t take care of them. Termites can destroy critical parts of your home like wood support beams. If a home is filled with clutter it makes parts of the home inaccessible and almost impossible to clean and rodents and pests looking for shelter may be attracted to the clutter, which may lead to an infestation. Rodents can bring insects with them, such as fleas and bed bugs. Pest infestations can bring diseases and can damage the foundation of your home. If you don’t get them fixed, it will cause more problems for you.

Driveway Cracks

Small driveway cracks can fill with water and then freeze, causing them to widen and multiply. Plus, grass and weeds end up growing in the cracks, which looks unattractive. You can fill wide cracks with clean sand or use a backer rod. Crack fillers don’t last long, especially for wide, deep cracks. But using a sealer can help. Once you fill the cracks, don’t forget to seal the entire driveway—otherwise, all your work might be in vain. You’ll want to fix driveway cracks as soon as possible so they don’t get any worse.

It can be difficult to know what to look for if you are trying to avoid any home issues. You should keep an eye out for water leaks, pest infestations, and driveway cracks. Watching for these things will help to save you time and money in the long run.

Read this next: Simple Home Fixes You Didn’t Know You Needed

Why Your Energy Bills Are Higher Than They Should Be

Homeownership can get expensive, and some of the most frustrating expenses are the utility bills that can sneak up on you. Sometimes even when you feel like you are doing everything you can to keep your energy costs low you can receive a high utility bill. Understanding what causes those spikes in cost can go a long way towards helping you to keep costs low and run your home more efficiently.

Unclean Energy

While a lot of focus is put on renewable energy sources, some of those sources can seem unattainable for regular homeowners. However, energy supplies that come from fossil fuels or general electric plants can be more expensive than their cleaner alternatives. If you do have a home that relies on unclean energy sources, it may be worthwhile to look into upgrading your energy sources so you can get off the grid and live more affordably. Installing solar panels can be expensive upfront, but it can also save you money in the long run and even help you to earn money from your community.

Lack of Insulation

Even if you have a great ventilation system and are using reliable and clean energy sources, you can lose a lot of energy if your home isn’t properly insulated. Insulation can save you up to $1,500 in energy bills every year. Old windows, doors with gaps, and uninsulated attics can all help you to lose energy and end up spending more on your energy bill each year. By upgrading your windows, doors, and insulation, you can keep the heat in your home in the winter and the cool inside during the summer. It will also decrease your costs as you will no longer be paying to heat the air outside your home as well as in.

Constant Drains

One of the things that can lead to higher energy bills is small appliances that are constantly plugged in. Though things like stand mixers, toasters, and lamps may not waste a lot of energy on their own, the energy they lose together can add up. It is a good idea to unplug small appliances when they aren’t in use so that you don’t lose energy and pay for energy that is wasted. Figuring out where energy is being wasted in your home can help you to manage costs more effectively and cut down on waste.

Having high energy bills can be a stress on your wallet and on the environment. Staying on top of your energy costs and cutting down on waste can help your budget and the environment, so you might as well get started.

Read this next: How to Avoid the Pitfalls of DIY Home Improvement

Simple Home Fixes You Didn’t Know You Needed

With all the extra time you’ve been spending at home, you’ve likely had one or two things brought to your attention that needed fixing. And, since you probably had a lot more time on your hands at home than normal, those projects may have even gotten done. Still, the list of home fixes that need doing is virtually never-ending. Some of them are incredibly simple, yet may very well have been things you didn’t even know you needed to do.

Concrete Patches

If you’ve lived in your house for a long time, or if the house has just been around for a while, you may have noticed that the concrete surfaces of your driveway and sidewalks have become cracked. The issue with cracks in concrete is that they tend to grow, especially during winter conditions. Florida isn’t prone to getting snow or freezing conditions, which is what can really accelerate cracks in concrete, but getting water in them can still cause them to grow larger. You can address cracks in your concrete by using concrete patches to fill them. If you catch the cracks before they grow too big, using concrete patches to repair your concrete surfaces is something you can handle on your own.

Window Tinting

Have you ever walked into a brightly lit living room and found yourself squinting because of the natural sunlight pouring in? It’s not comfortable, but of greater concern is the damage that the sun could also be doing to your furniture and carpets. Sun tends to have a bleaching effect on a variety of surfaces, including those in your home. Window tinting can protect your furniture and carpets from fading. It works by absorbing and reflecting the sun’s UV rays. In addition to protecting your belongings from fading, window tinting can also give you a boost in energy savings by helping you regulate your indoor temperature better. It’s pretty simple to install yourself as well. Make sure the glass surface where you’re applying the film is clean. Cut it so it is the right size for your window and remove the adhesive backing. Apply it to the window starting from the top and working your way down. Remove trapped air bubbles as you go and let the film cure. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s directions for curing and installation for best results.

Spackling

Your home is bound to accumulate a collection of holes, dents, and scrapes over time. Whether you bump into the wall a little too hard with something a couple of times or have rambunctious kids running around, it’s kind of inevitable. While perfectly normal, those blemishes can cause problems if you decide you want to paint your walls. Painting works best on clean, smooth surfaces, so it’s important to address them before you get going. Fortunately, spackling can be an effective method of repair. Spackle is a putty that is designed to repair holes, small cracks, and other minor defects in the wood, drywall, and plaster surfaces. Spackling walls is fairly simple and leaves you with a surface that will be better for painting by the end of it.

Door Curtain

If you have glass on your doors, you’ve probably enjoyed the benefits of the extra natural light they let in, but may not be so keen on the lack of privacy or the drafts they can let in from time to time. Try adding curtains to your door to solve both those problems. If you still want to allow natural light in, choose curtains that are light and maybe even slightly transparent. They will still allow natural light to come through but will make it much more difficult for people to see into your home.

Soft Closing Cabinet Hinges

You’ve probably found yourself rushing around the kitchen at some point trying to get a meal prepped in time. Most often, all that rushing around is punctuated by the sound of slamming cabinet doors. If you’ve ever gotten tired of that sound, there is a solution. Soft closing cabinet hinges have hydraulics built into the hinge so that instead of banging closed, they close with a soft “thump” noise. Many of these are even self-closing, so they require very little work on your part. Installing soft closing cabinet hinges is easy enough to do yourself, given time, the materials, and simple tools. You may find yourself opening and closing the cabinets just to enjoy the lack of noise that comes with them.

Graphite on Your Locks

Locks and keys play an integral role in the safety and security of your home. When they are new, they usually work quite well in conjunction with one another, with the key sliding smoothly in and out of the keyhole. Over time, though, your lock or key may become worn and damaged to the point where you find them sticking from time to time instead. The solution for this is incredibly simple and a lot closer to hand than you might think. Graphite powder works quite well as a lubricant, thanks to the weak covalent bonds that allow the layers to slide past one another. If dust and dirt are the problem, graphite can be a good solution. Go over your lock with the graphite of a sharp pencil to help your key slide easily in and out of your lock again.

Ironing Your Hardwood

Hardwood has become a popular flooring option thanks to its ability to raise the value of a home. It looks nice and is relatively easy to keep clean. Unfortunately, it is also susceptible to dings and dents, just like your walls. You may think that you’ll have to resign yourself to either dealing with it or replacing the floorboard, but you’d be mistaken. As it turns out, ironing isn’t just for your clothes. It can fix small dents in your hardwood floors too. Wet the dent, place a damp towel over it, and iron over the blemish in a circular motion. You shouldn’t have a dent left by the time you’re done.

 

Some of the simple home fixes that your home could use may be things you’ve never thought of before. It’s easy to accept things as they currently are, especially if you don’t know any different. Now that you do though, you may find yourself wondering what else can be improved. Look at your home with a new perspective of home improvement projects and see what other things you can do to improve your experience living in your home.

Getting your house painted is a simple fix that can make a big difference in your home’s aesthetic. Let us take care of that for you! Contact us to get a free estimate!

How to Avoid the Pitfalls of DIY Home Improvement

Home improvement projects are a popular way to build equity in a home and increase the amount of enjoyment you get from living there. Of course, the associated price tag can give you a bad case of sticker shock. One of the ways homeowners often try to reduce the cost of home improvement projects is to tackle them themselves. While this can work, you’ll need to take steps to avoid the pitfalls associated with this approach.

Do Your Research Carefully

Most homeowners don’t spend their time learning all about the ins and outs of different home improvement projects. There isn’t anything wrong with that, but it can make things more difficult if you decide to handle those projects yourself. If you don’t know what you’re getting into, you could easily end up seriously injured and with a bigger problem than you started out with. Make sure you understand the risks associated with home improvement projects so you can take the necessary steps to mitigate them.

Know Your Limits

Part of what should go into your research is what your own limits are. Some projects require greater skill, strength, and knowledge than others. It’s one thing to push yourself a little to learn and grow. It’s an entirely other thing to charge ahead without thought for what happens when you hit a figurative wall in your capacity. There is no shame in calling a professional to handle a job for you when needed. Professionals can often get a job done without doing damage to your home. At the end of the day, the point is to have the project done properly and safely. Who does the work matters far less.

Use the Right Tools For the Job

Having the right tools for the job at hand is critical to the successful completion of home improvement projects. You probably have basic tools such as hammers, wrenches, tape measures, and even a level. Other tools may be harder to come by. If you want to do a quality job though, you need to have the right ones. It’s also important to keep tools in good condition. If you have the right tool but it’s not in good shape, you run the risk of injuring yourself if you use it.

If you want your home improvement project to be a success, you need to take measure to avoid the pitfalls that often come with taking a DIY approach. Make sure you do your research very carefully before getting started. Know what your limits are. Make sure you have the right tools to get the job done. Doing so will help you have a successful experience with your home improvement projects.

Read this next: Simple Kitchen Improvements That Make the Biggest Difference

Smart Home Investments That Can Pay Off When You Sell

Unless your home is already in amazing condition, there are probably plenty of projects that should be done in order to get it ready to be sold. Even if it’s already pristine, there are still additional features you can add to increase your home’s value. If you want to get the best price for your house, it’s important to make smart investments in your home that can pay off when it comes time to sell.

Completing Unfinished Areas

Unfinished areas of a home may appeal to those who want a fixer-upper home or who intend to flip the house for a profit, but that’s a fairly specific segment of buyers. Putting an unfinished home means settling for a price that’s less than what you could expect if the home was complete. In order to make your home appeal to a wider variety of buyers and to get the best price for it, take the time to complete any unfinished areas. You may be able to complete some projects yourself, while other projects should be left to professionals.

Solar Power

Solar power has become an increasingly popular source of renewable energy for powering homes. Many homeowners find it helps offset the cost of their energy bills and enjoy the benefit of reducing their impact on the environment. Switching to 100% can eliminate up to 4 tons of carbon emissions every year. That adds up when you think about how long solar systems can last and how many people are switching to solar. And since Florida has sunny weather all year long, your home is likely to be a good candidate based on the local weather conditions.

Landscaping Your Property

Curb appeal is an absolute essential when it comes to selling a house. Landscaping is just one of the ways you can boost curb appeal. It’s pretty effective, too. When done well, landscaping can greatly enhance the appearance of your home. It gives it a fresh, well maintained appearance that can be hard to beat. For added impact, take special care of the plant life you’ve selected for your yards to give your home a more inviting atmosphere.

Make the best use of your time and money by choosing projects that will build value in your home when preparing it for sale. If your home has any unfinished areas, make sure you complete them. Consider adding solar power and landscaping your property. This can make your home more appealing and more valuable when it’s placed on the market.

Painting your home can be a great way to attract buyers when you’re ready to sell. Contact us to get an estimate today!

How to Bring Down Your Utility Bills

Utility bills can become very costly, creating a burden on your finances. However, these costs don’t need to be so high. There are many ways you can change the energy usage in your home in order to use it more efficiently and lower your utility bills.

Move to Cleaner Energy

One way to lower your bills is to increase energy efficiency in your home. You can do this by changing out appliances. Older models aren’t always efficient and can be costing you more money. Another option is to change out your light bulbs for energy efficient ones. These lightbulbs last longer, produce less heat, and require less energy. If you’re looking for a more extreme measure, you can change your energy source to cleaner, renewable energy. A smart option would be adding solar panels to your home. They can save you anything from $10,000 to $30,000. They also qualify you for a tax break which saves you even more money.

Reduce Water Waste

Probably one of the largest sources of waste in the home is wasted water. In many cases, people take water for granted and therefore aren’t particularly mindful when using it. To decrease water waste in your home, is to change up appliances and fixtures. For example, low flow faucets and showerheads are a simple and cost-effective choice. These fixtures use less water, but aerate the water so it maintains the pressure you’re used to. You can also get a dual flush toilet or even a dual flush toilet kit. A dual flush system allows you to use different amounts of water for solid and liquid waste. You can also invest in larger appliances. A tankless water heater is a more efficient option than a conventional heater. Instead of having a large tank of water, tankless heaters heat the water as it passes through the device. That way you aren’t wasting as much water.

Insulate Your Home

Energy loss is a common, but often unseen problem. Energy loss occurs when heat escapes your home or cold air gets in. This is particularly common around windows and doors as well as in attics and garages. To prevent this energy loss, and prevent higher bills, you should insulate your home. You can do this by replacing doors and windows with more efficient options. You should also insulate any areas of your home where energy may leak out.

Utility bills are a necessity in any home, but they don’t need to be so expensive. Your bill is dependent on your behavior. Making changes around your home can help you use energy more efficiently and save money

Read this next: Simple Improvements That Can Improve Utility Performance